29 May 2012

Parents arrested after children die in Derby house fire

The parents of six children killed in an arson attack at their home are arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mick and Mairead Philpott were detained on Tuesday in connection with the fire at the house in Derby, which is believed to have been started by petrol.

Five children died in the blaze on 11 May: Jade Philpott, 10, and brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five. Duwayne Philpott, 13, died two days later in hospital.

Five days after the fire, the Philpotts faced the media, with Mr Philpott repeatedly wiping away tears as he thanked those who tried to rescue his children. He said Duwayne’s organs would be donated so they could be used in transplants.


Following the deaths, the police said Mr Philpott had made “valiant” efforts to rescue the children.

He is believed to have fathered 17 children and in 2007 was dubbed “Shameless Mick” after the benefit claimant asked for a bigger council house for his family.

He appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show and he and his family featured in an ITV documentary alongside former government minister Ann Widdecombe.


Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill, from Derbyshire Police, said he suspected there were people “with crucial information” who had not yet come forward.

He added: “In view of the arrests, I would urge anyone who may have been holding back, not felt comfortable to voice their concerns or not had the confidence, to do so now.

“The latest arrests are just one step further in the investigation. It is important that we find justice for these six young children.”

ACC Cotterill said the case had “deeply affected the local community and residents want answers as to what happened and why”.

A mobile police station will be returning to Victory Road in Derby, where the children died. There will also be extra patrols and forensic examinations at the house will continue.